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Victory! Hens Spared Horrific Death in Grinder

Written by PETA | November 10, 2010

Last week, we told you about TWJ Farms, an egg factory farm in Nebraska that planned to kill 70,000 unwanted chickens by placing them in an industrial machine and grinding them up—while still alive. According to a whistleblower, TWJ has killed hundreds of thousands of hens this way in recent years, and TWJ CEO Joe Claybaugh seems to confirm it in news reports. A witness stated that many of the birds were maimed or mutilated during the process and suffered in agony for hours before they died.

After PETA sent an urgent plea asking local and state law enforcement officials to intervene—and thanks to your calls and e-mails to the company—we have received confirmation from the Nebraska State Patrol that TWJ will not grind up the 70,000 chickens as planned.

We’re still waiting to hear directly from TWJ and its primary egg customer, Minnesota-based Michael Foods, Inc., that TWJ and all Michael Foods egg suppliers will use only legal, approved means to kill sick, injured, or unwanted chickens. But you don’t have to wait to make a difference: You can help spare millions of birds from unimaginable suffering by cutting eggs out of your diet.  

Written by Paula Moore

Commenting is closed.
  • Roger E says:

    Sadly, I see human evolution heading in the progressively negative direction with human procreation and consumption being the perils that will ultimately lead to our own downfall.  We no longer live for survival, we take that for granted; we now live for pleasure, and eating, including animal products, is obviously the greatest and most irresistible pleasure, when you look at evolving human statistics.  No matter the growing number of animal sympathizers, will we ever be the controlling majority?

  • Fargo says:

    Correction- people who treat animals like this are not “human” !

  • Lin says:

    Well done PETA – and thanks to the whistle blower. I think that company need watching closely….

  • Sue says:

    Chickens are wonderful, funny and intelligent, In England we rehome battery hens, cant they do that in USA? How can some one do such a horrendous thing to a living creature. It makes me feel sick to think of it.

  • Michelle Shafer says:

    I would like to see the person who made the decision to put the live birds in a grinder to have a psychiatric evaluation and neuropsychological testing. That person really needs medical treatment. It’s a very twisted and unhealthy way of problem-solving. Can we get a court order for that?

  • Barb swisher says:

    If it’s too expensive to eat with the animal living humanely when alive, then, you shouldn’t be eating it. Me? I’m a Vegan. And glad for it.

  • Catherine says:


  • Joe Allen says:

    It seems that chickens are treated the worst of any living creature, and the average person could care less. Literally, I feel that people are not sane, that think it’s OK to abuse, and then discard chickens. People who have a heart need to make a stand for our feathered friends, who deserve to have a good life.

  • :) says:

    this is because of people of this sort that we have to be more and more vigilent and united in order to protect animals. Furthermore, a human being involved in such a despicable act must be sufering inside somehow. They just do not realize it at the conscious level maybe.

  • Helena says:

    Oh my… thank you for posting, PETA. Yet one more horrendous, heartbreaking thing we’ll never, ever see on the mainstream media, and that helps affirm that I’ve made the right decision in my diet.

  • heaven1018 says:

    I’m so glad we could do something to save the lives of thousands of chickens! When I read this article I smiled so big, knowing that I had something to do with it.

  • Laurie H says:

    When will ALL human beings finally realize that the food industry does unspeakable horrors to all animals in the food industry? I have become a vegetarian and strive to be vegan because of all that I have learned-I just cannot and will not sit by and contribute to this sick situation. It is much healthier to live and really enjoy this lifestyle- the “Kind Diet!.”

  • chris s says:

    Who carries the title of management in these companies? Mindless, gutless, moral less, morons can’t find a humane alternative. I embarrassed to can these idiotd Americans.

  • Dee Foster says:

    I think the faces of the owners of this business should be displayed in the media and in newspapers and magazines. The whole world should know what these sick, heartless, money hungry people look like!!!!

  • KK says:

    What a sad, pitiful world we live in. I hope heaven is full of these beautiful, long-suffering animals. Surely this can’t be all there is for them…

  • Disgusted says:

    I felt sick and horribly sorry for those poor chickens, what a horror! Some people are just monsters and they live amongst us!!!

  • Mummy of Two says:

    This story made me feel physically sick. If this is just one company that got found out, it suggests to me that there are many more that do practice this babarism and get away with it just because they don’t get caught.

  • anonymous says:

    save the chickens.let them go live somewhere. medicate them. this company should be put out of business. i see no reason for allowing this company to continue.

  • Kristen says:

    Find somebody in your community who raises chickens and buy their eggs! Don’t support the meat industry.. they’re full of lies and murder. All they care about is money.

  • eternalmother says:

    Can’t we adopt them and take care of them? I had three girls for quite a while. I don’t eat them or the eggs and would be willing to take care of some of the unwanted girls.

  • Kristen says:

    I can’t believe that companies and organizations only care about the money they are saving by tossing 70,000 chickens in grinders, and they still sleep at night. This is horrible. So many people have no idea of all the things that go behind what they eat. I cant look at an egg the same after learning and researching what really goes on, it breaks my heart.

  • Iris says:

    I love chicken and dumplings. I’m not going to stop eating chicken. I don’t like the idea that they are killing them this way, but I just can’t eat tofu.

  • gina says:

    I don’t understand it either. How can people do these things. How would they like if it were them or there family being tortured. Animals are smart and they feel pain just like us. They are innocent and can’t speak for themselves. Everyone please speak for them in anyway you can. Dont eat meat call all of these idiots etc. Make adoption your first choice

  • Michaela says:

    I cant even comprehend the inhumanity of it all, and that we live amongst such evil people.

  • Wendy Love says:

    Factory farmers donating unwanted chickens to countries in need is a fantastic idea!!! We only buy organic foods in our household & are lucky enough to get our eggs from a farmer down the street. If you love eggs, why not look into getting a couple hens for yourself? That way, you would know they were properly cared for. 🙂

  • Veronica says:

    Chickens have been carefully studied by psychologists and animal behaviorists, and found to have very complex and well-defined family relationships. A group of chickens is much like an extended human family, with many inter-relationships. They are not just a bunch of random animals, with no connections. The more scientists study chickens, the more complexities they find.

    I raised chickens, and I know this is true.

  • SaveThem All says:

    Can there be major news media coverage? This may increase the awareness of animal cruelty to more people. The coverage could go from egg hatching(most roosters are thrown away-in the early days male chickens became the colored easter chicks); the horible conditions of chickens while laying eggs; to end of life. Until PETA’s news I didn’t know anything about this cruel practice of grinding up chickens. When I was a child, I learned much about raising chickens from my grandfather. He raised a few to sell eggs at the local market. The chickens had proper space, egg laying boxes, good food such as grain and oyster shells, along with clean water at all times. If the chickens became sick, they were removed from the pens/rooms and treated for possible rehab. It was my job to collect the eggs, feed and water the chickens on a daily basis. I suggest the news media because many people ( I don’t !) think PETA is too radical in their approach, and don’t even listen to all the good things PETA does. The more I read, the more concerned I am about the future of all animals-farm animals, the wild horses, the endangered species, the fur trade, laboratory testing, puppy mills, the oil spill etc. and humans’ compassion for the protection and safety of these animals. Animal supporters can do only so much, and as individuals we can not save the world-so we need to come together.

  • thezsdad says:

    WHY IS THIS EVEN LEGAL? Treat a dog or cat or other animal meat-eaters consider a pet–at least in this country–and you go to jail. This is wrong on every imaginable level!

  • needtoknow says:

    I am a student and I am doing a persuasive speech about harsher laws concerning out livestock and their treatment. Can anyone tell me any solutions to stop the farm animal abuse. I know the smart thing to do is to cut the food out of our diets but what else can we do?

  • anne hoescha says:

    this does not only happen to fully grown chickens! millions of beautiful cute little yellow male chicks are “disposed” of in this way because they dont lay eggs and are therefor “useless” to the industry, the are sent on a rollator band still alive and fall into a grinding machine!!!! this is the sick world we live in.

  • NessieM says:

    …free range, organic eggs. That is the way to go.

  • Kristin says:

    Only eat organic free ranged?  Read this website a little more, go a little deeper.  Organic free range means nothing.  All a company has to do to be able to qualify is to simply apply for it and then slap it on their food.  The only stipulation for it is that the chickens are allowed some sort of outdoor access.  That doesn’t prevent filth, sickness, or cramped conditions whatsoever.  Plus theres no one from the government who actually goes to these places and checks to make sure they really are ‘free range’ or ‘orangic’ at all.  Tyson boasts all natural or ‘organic’ chicken and they rip the chickens heads off while they hang by their feet and then the workers urinate on them.  You’re eating cooked pee chicken.

  • Tilyra says:

    Killing is wrong under every circumstance. Period. It is not “our” place to take a life for ANY reason whatsoever.

  • carol says:

    I don’t believe a word they say and neither should PETA. These people are sickos who can do such a thing as this. It seems to me that these farmers deliberately find the psychopaths of society to do their dirty work for them the only good thing is now that occasionally there is one good samaritan who turns them in! PETA you need to keep on the back of this company.

  • nartalie rivera says:

    i totally agree with PETA & im very proud with there organization.i love animals and decided to become a vegetarian to show my support for them, and i dont understand how people can harm or even stand there and watch a animal suffer without doing nothing!I would do watever it takes to help them& if we all commit to it and stick togther we can make a difference!

  • Erika Kennedy says:

    This is so sickening. I became a vegetarian at the end of summer so that I wouldn’t be helping producers like these. This is an example of what humans are capable of doing, and I’m also proud to be a PETA member who is against that.

  • Katie says:

    I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love to turn those spent hens into pets… I know I would!

  • lisette says:

    Don’t eat eggs, peta u r awesome! Keep up the good job and will do anything for animals!

  • sherrie anderson says:

    That is great news!!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thank you, PETA, for making a difference. Your efforts are truly inspiring. What i don’t understand is how people find this acceptable, and okay. How can you ignore something like this? How is this even “all right”? I truly think it’s a disease. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Hens (animals in general) are not inatimate objects. They can FEEL. They have nerves, they have veins, they have blood, they have cells, they have organs, they have brains, they have bones…get the picture? They can FUNCTION. They can feel the pain, and the excuse for, “It’s quick.” Well, obviously, by the some number that suffer, obviously, it’s not. Obviously. This subject can’t be taken lightly and more people need to realize what happens – I don’t mean to sound rude, but people are angry and infuriated by truly pathetic matters in the world. What is in our magazines? Lindsay Lohan. Oh God, she’s back in rehab. Yes, that’s important. No, topics such as this are important. Showing people what happens every time you try on that Coach jacket, or eat that Denny’s omelette, or chow down on that whopper from McDonald’s. You are encouraging and popularizing the need for the slaughtering of animals. It’s not right. These people are a disgrace and embarrassment. 

  • Killmeinstead says:

    Damn this is horrible. I dont see a bright future for chickens.

  • alexis says:

    DUH DONT eat chickens keep like that! i eat ONLY organic free ranged. and i love eggs.

  • MARIMA says:

    those poor chickens can find good homes or some where good to live and be cared for thank you peta

  • Elaine says:

    Ironically if they allowed the chickens to roam free and eat the bugs from outside they would cost less to feed, produce more eggs and grow to a more healthy weight. Why not donate the chickens to people or even countries in need who could continue to raise the chickens in this manner for the eggs? Turn this situation into something positive.

  • Pat Doe says:

    I am proud to be a PETA Member. Your organization is doing such good for the animals in the world. It is still hard to believe all the heartless people in the world. we all need to stick together and do as much as we can. We should all be proud

  • Dean Ween says:

    It’s amazing an industry has to be asked to simply comply with the standards it sets for itself. How sad. Egg-laying hens are the worst-abused farmed animal, by far. Cheers to the brave witness who stepped forward–70,000 lives are that much better for his/her speaking up. Shows you how much of a difference one person can make. Congrads to that person and PETA.

  • Robin Winters says:

    I find it so disgusting that these human beings are willing to destroy an animal by this method. How embarrassing for this company, that a state law enforcement has to intervene, their shame exposed, and now the whole world knows the owners lack of compassion and sense of right from wrong. Shame on you TWJ Farms!

  • 2yingyang2 says:

    saying and doing are completely different things! how does anyone know for sure they wont be grinding up the 70k chickens, places like that lie!! they dont even say what they are doing with the 70k chickens if they arent grinding them. people need to become vegan! so much healthier and such nicer foods, you can still eat delicious desserts, and every kind of food, just no animal products, no hormones, no antibiotics, no blood and pus, no cruelty, no heart attacks later on in life!

  • gotjobrosfool says:

    They don’t need to be killed period. If they’re suffering yes but if they are unwanted or sick and can become healty with medicine then do not kill them. I don’t understand how people can just sit there and watch any animal die an excruciating pain. Some people are just sick.

  • Michal Kolman says:

    Amazing! Thanks PETA 🙂